I’ve been invited by the Very Talented British writer Terry Tyler to take part in ‘A Very British Blog tour’ – visiting, supporting and championing the work and websites of other British authors.

Each author has been asked exactly the same questions but the answers will obviously all be different!

Here’s the link to Terry’s blog where you can read her interesting answers to the questions

Here are my answers:

Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?

A. I was born in Wolverton – a little Victorian railway town in north Buckinghamshire, until Milton Keynes came and sat on top of it. I started teaching in Leicester in the 1970’s and have lived her ever since.

Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at the moment?

A. Yes, apart from a brief period in Canada, in my 20’s, serving burgers at a drive-in, on roller skates.(To get the picture, read Allan Ahlberg’s Mrs Wobble the Waitress.)

Q. Which is your favourite part of Britain?

A. Like both Terry and Clive, I find it hard to pick just one. I love the gentle landscape of the rural English shires and wilder bits of Derbyshire, Yorkshire, too. Then there’s Durham, the north-east, Scottish Highlands. Impossible to choose.

Q. Have you ‘highlighted’ or ‘showcased’ any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city; a county, a monument or some well-known place or event?

A. I haven’t highlighted specific places, (although I’m tempted to feature the river Piddle in my second book.) A Twenties Girl’s Guide, is set in middle England in the 1920’s – all millstreams, market squares and splendid chaps playing cricket on the green.

Q. There is an illusion – or myth if you wish –about British people that I would like you to discuss. Many see the ‘Brits’ as ‘stiff upper lip’. Is that correct? 

A. I agree with Geoffrey, who described it as more of a stoical trait – something to admire, perhaps, in people who face up to adversity bravely, without fuss. Didn’t Hemingway call it ‘grace under pressure’ – that mix of authority, decency and nerve. (I myself am definitely not one of those wonderful people, more of a hider-under-the-table type.)

Q. Do any of the characters in your books carry the ‘stiff upper lip’? Or are they all ‘British Bulldog’ and unique in their own way?

A. The main characters in An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy  are definitely ‘stiff upper lip’. They’re from mannered Victorian society, with all its rules and regulations – mustn’t take off your hat, mustn’t take off your gloves, mustn’t get hot or perspire!

Q. Tell us about one of your recent books

A. An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy is the story of Victorian bluestocking, Annie Haddon and her journey across the American West, after the Civil War. Leaving one society that’s all buttoned-up reticence, she encounters another – crude, loud, boom and bust.
I was interested in the effect the landscape would have on that sort of person. England, all dark rooms, neat fields, low skies; the West, wide open land stretching to the horizon – no fences  or hedges – just that great bowl of blue sky.

Q. What are you currently working on?

A. A Twenties Girl’s Guide to Making a Match  (working title) – set in the English shires after the Great War – all crumbling country houses and no men. When her jazzing flapper of an aunt – one of the Bright Young Things –dies, Gerardina Mary Arden inherits a wardrobe of love-affair clothes, a psychic cat and an unexpected legacy. Part of the inspiration for this was Virginia Nicholson’s book Singled Out about that generation of women left with little hope of love or marriage. I hope to have completed it by August/September.

Q. How do you spend your leisure time?

A. When I’ve tried and failed to keep up with all the things writers are supposed to do now, and factored in family and friends – films and TV, theatre, music,(especially jazz), walking (hills and dales).

Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience?

A. Hopefully, a global audience. I’d like my books to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

Q. Can you provide links to your work?

A. Just click on one of the Amazon links below.

A Very British Blog was originally hosted by Clive Eaton.

I have also tagged the following people in this, who will be doing their own VERY BRITISH blog posts!

Geoffrey West

Maria Savva

Susan Buchanan

Bev Spicer

Margaret Cullingford

Liz Ringrose